September 30, 2012

September 28, 2012

Poetry Friday--100 Thousand Poets for Change

Tomorrow, September 29, there will be a worldwide poetry happening sponsored by 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

As of last weekend, there were events scheduled in 115 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. If you check the event listings here, you may find one happening near you. In New Hampshire, there's something in Exeter, and over the border in Massachusetts there's a program at the Boston Public Library.




In the event that there's nothing in your area, you can sit in front of your computer or tablet and tune in to the livestream events that are listed here.

I'd like to think that 100 thousand poets could effect a major change in the world, yet, I'd be happy if they could just get a few people to stop and think about adding their voices to the call for change.

Here's a poem by Rita Dove that I think can help people be more aware of possibilities.
Dawn Revisited

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,

the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits—
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours

to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You'll never know
who's down there, frying those eggs,
if you don't get up and see.
The Round-Up this week is being held at Paper Tigers.




September 25, 2012

September 23, 2012

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Poem originally published here. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

September 21, 2012

Poetry Friday--On the Day I Was Born

Happy Birthday to me! Tomorrow is my birthday, but I have so many obligations tomorrow, I thought I'd celebrate on Poetry Friday instead.

I had an idea that I would check newspapers for the day I was born and see if I could find a poem to share. I have a subscription to the online site, NewspaperArchive.com, so I did a search on "poem" and restricted it to September 22, 1949. (Yes, I'm that old!)

The first thing I noticed was the number of social events that were marked by the reading of a poem. The Newark Advocate (OH) reported that the Junior Women's Club met the previous Friday evening, and "Mrs. Harold Newkirk read an original poem 'September.'"

The Cullman Banner (AL), gave the complete details of the The Women's Society of Christian Service of the First Methodist Church's celebration of Kitty Holmes' 80th birthday,
Mrs. J. G. Daves made a talk honoring Aunt Kitty, concluding with a poem, 'A Friend's Greeting' by Edgar A. Guest.

Mrs. Whitaker, in presenting a corsage, read a clever, original poem.
Bob Wood, "chalk artist," on a tour sponsored by the Antrim Lyceum bureau, Philadelphia, entertained at the Littlestown Rotary club "when Ladies night was observed." Mr. Wood made "a sketch of Longfellow's 'Skeleton in Armor,' which poem he also recited and added colored lights," the Gettysburg Times (PA) related.

Predictably there were a number of school activity reports that noted the inclusion of poetry, for example, the Tintonka Topic (IA) "School News" contained this item from the first grade: "We learned the poem The Swing because we have been having so much fun on the swings on our own playgrounds. We also drew pictures of the swing."

A syndicated puzzle, Daily Crossword, had as a clue for 30 DOWN, "Metrical division of a poem." There were 5 boxes to fill in.

The Kingsport News (TN) had a page [the] "Associated Press in Pictures" with a photo captioned, "GERMANY REMEMBERS LONGFELLOW Opening lines of Longfellow's poem, 'Bells of Geisenheim' are inscribed on this fountain dedicated to him in Geisenheim, Germany."

Actually, I found that the lines are part of Longfellow's lengthy dramatic poem, "The Golden Legend."

In my search I came across the text to two complete poems, one called "A Prayer," and the other, "Red Roses," but both were horribly sappy and I couldn't bear to include them! So, I will share Robert Louis Stevenson's little poem that delighted the first graders in Iowa, and, I believe, continues to delight children to this day!


The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Today, the Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Renee at No Water River.

September 18, 2012

September 16, 2012

September 14, 2012

Poetry Friday--The Round-Up is HERE!

Welcome! I'll start off with a short little poem from an old book (1898) entitled The Fairy Changeling and Other Poems by Dora Sigerson a.k.a. Mrs. Clement Shorter.


WISHES

I wish we could live as the flowers live,
    To breathe and to bloom in the summer and sun;
To slumber and sway in the heart of the night,
    And to die when our glory had done.

I wish we could love as the bees love,
    To rest or to roam without sorrow or sigh;
With laughter, when, after the wooer had won,
    Love flew with a whispered good-bye.

I wish we could die as the birds die,
    To fly and to fall when our beauty was best:
No trammels of time on the years of our face;
    And to leave but an empty nest.

I used to think that birds didn't die naturally since I hardly ever saw little corpses on the ground, only ones in cats' mouths. I suppose the fairies could have buried them in the night, but I never thought of that until just now. And speaking of now--the Round-Up begins right NOW!

Kurious Kitty has a cat (lady) poem by Ruth Stone called "A Pair," and at KK's Kwotes there's a quote by Ruth Stone on the importance of "getting it down."

At The Write Sisters you're invited to sit for a time "In An Abandoned Garden."

Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme provides our first link (aside from the ones I'm responsible for) to "Purgatory." Hey Matt, we're New Hampshire neighbors!

Charles Ghigna, a Father Goose without feathers, tells us he has been hiding and working on several books for toddlers. And growing some whiskers? (From the cute little grandkids' photos I've seen, which he's posted on Facebook, I can see how he's familiar with the audience!) Check out his original poem "Hidin’ in a Beard," and the photo of another bearded poet whose visage always struck me as kinda skeery. Can you name the poet?

Teaching Authors' April Halprin Wayland leads a discussion about whether or not to get an MFA, shares a poem about making a decision, and provides a great prompt.

Another NH neighbor, Joyce Ray, has an original poem to celebrate Saint Hildegard's feast day. Joyce has been researching Hildegard for many years.

Over at TeacherDance Linda has a pair of poems, "Dry" and "Wet," which came about as a result of one of the Miss Rumphius Effect "stretches." The poems are in trimeric form. (I first read the term as "triaminic," which, of course, is a children's pain reliever! It was late...and I was tired...)

"since feeling it first" by e.e. cummings is featured today at Gathering Books. Someone must have given cummings a challenge--"use the word syntax in a poem."

Joy, a fellow southpaw, checks in with an original poem, "Left Handed," at Poetry for Kids.

At No Water River Renee shares "Cookie" by David L. Harrison, a video clip, AND an interview! Teachers can look for "extension activities" at the end.

Gregory K's original "A Kitchen Mystery" reveals many a family's secret--"Dad did it!" You'll find it at GottaBook.

Need a little humor? Vikram has it at 1000 Poems with "The Briefless Barrister" by John G. Saxe. Take a little time to explore Vikram's drawings, too. He does fantastic work!

Tabatha explores American Sign Language poetry at The Opposite of Indifference with several videos, because it is, after all, meant to be seen.

It's trimeric week in blogland. Check out Mary Lee's "Stars" at A Year of Reading. She even made it rhyme!

My Juicy Little Universe's Heidi has a kindergarten inspired acrostic, "Listen With Your Eyes," which is just delightful!

Katya shares Kipling's "The Way Through the Woods," which begs to be read aloud--in an overgrown garden!

At Growing Wild Liz has an original acorn poem that I can relate to here in NH where acorns seem to be in abundance this year. I fear our winter is going to be a killer! Preschool teachers: Liz's poem would be a great one for the classroom!

Laura Salas introduces us to Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs, a new collection from Pat Lewis and Jane Yolen. It looks to be fun! And, she has this week's batch of 15 Words or Less poems here.

A favorite from the collection Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project, a compilation of lullabies to benefit breast cancer, can be found at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Jama says, "I know at least nine survivors and one person who lost her battle, and of course, we all recently learned that Judy Blume was recently diagnosed." Jama, you can add me to the list, and two more of The Write Sisters (three out of the seven of us are survivors) Our thoughts go out to Judy Blume.

Our other Laura S., Laura Shovan, has gone buggy on us--in a good way with a Mary Oliver poem--over at Author Amok. Her daughter, Julia, is an accomplished "wildlife" photographer, as you will see.

At Dori Reads, Dori shares some writers' tools that may be worth looking into, and, she includes "The Oak" by Alfred Lord Tennyson, just because she likes it! (I would say that's the best reason to share a poem!)

My Spark partner, Amy, at The Poem Farm, also shares my love of birds it seems. She's in today with an original, "I Was a Tree Before."

Welcome to David L. Harrison who announces that he'll be featuring poems written by visitors to his blog who would like to share their work. The first two poets, Catherine Johnson and Julie Krantz, will appear this Sunday.

At Think Kid, Think! Ed explains that he had a hard time coming up with outstanding first lines in children's poetry. He invites us all to weigh in.

Elaine and I had Polish grandparents, so I especially love her memoir poems, one of which, "Apples," she shares today at Wild Rose Reader. And check out Elaine's new backyard!

Violet Nesdoly / poems has an original entitled, "Prairie Autumn," make sure you see it, it is quite a surprise!

Tara @ A Teaching Life will make you think back to 6th grade...On the other hand, she also shares "The Alphabet Conspiracy" by Rita Mae Reese, which is chocky-block full of quotable lines like, her mind falls down the rabbit holes of grammar and history is a series of conspiracies/by accidental despots. Don't miss it!

Lorie Ann Grover has a birthday today! Happy birthday and a poetry-filled year ahead. At On Point Lorie Ann has an original poem, "A Board Book," that will tug at grandmothers' heartstrings! And at readertotz Lorie Ann has arranged for you to sing along with Nathan Lane and some greenly attired Muppets!

Don't miss Teaching Young Writers where Betsy is featuring the words of Leo Lionni's mouse child, Frederick.

Samuel Kent sent along a link to a plethora of what he referred to as "kid-ready poems." Get ready for some fun, and don't miss #470 "Show and Tell."

Andi at A Wrung Sponge shares "Lady, Lady" by Ann Spencer and goes on to explain one of the allusions for us.

Mrs. Merrill's Book Break presents us with some poetry words to live by, courtesy Mary Ann Hoberman.

After a busy day, Ruth joins us to share a poem by Elizabeth Alexander, "Ars Poetica #28: African Leave-Taking Disorder."

Photo © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

September 13, 2012

Yee Ha! The Round-Up Is Comin'



If you'd like, you can leave your link tonight and that will allow you time tomorrow for another cup of coffee before heading out to work!

September 11, 2012

September 9, 2012

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Originally published as part of Laura Purdie Salas's 15 Words or Less challenge.

September 7, 2012

Poetry Friday--"Wild Geese"


A few weeks ago I started hearing the distant, doleful sounds of geese flying overhead. They're already heading south. Early, it seems. What do they know that we don't? With the incredibly atypical weather we had last year, I'm wondering if perhaps we will be clobbered this coming winter?

In honor of the the intrepid travelers heading away from New Hampshire, I offer you this poem by Mary Oliver from Dream Work (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986):
Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

The geese are heading home? Where is home? North or south? Does it matter?

I have written some poems inspired by wild geese (who hasn't?), this one I posted in 2009, and this haiga is from 2010.

Here's a geese-related comic from Harry Bliss.

Today's Round-Up is taking place at Write. Sketch. Repeat., and next week, the Poetry Friday Round-Up will be held right here!

Hiroshige print courtesy Library of Congress.

September 4, 2012

September 2, 2012